It’s been a full-on day at the Centre. Lots of listening and discussion. Sharing opinions, sorting out information and arriving at conclusions. We all need to talk. And we all need to listen too.
Especially when there is uncertainty, anger, grief or fear. I know that we chatter away beautifully when we are feeling positive. There is laughter perhaps. Compliments fly from person to person. The discussion feels good. However I also know that when we are troubled conversation can be difficult. If we can speak at all. One of the reasons I have a Drop In at the Centre is so that people can find a listening ear in times that are challenging. By this I mean active listening. Not being ready to jump in, ignore what’s said and put my own point of view. Letting the person know that I hear what they say and respect it. Otherwise it’s not really a conversation or discussion. Instead it suggests that I don’t care to hear the other person.
Active listening acknowledges that the speaker has a voice. It is a way I can show respect for that person. And it can bring us to a closer understanding if both of us pay attention to what is being said.
In a way what I’m setting out are the rules for successful communication. They apply as much to all the people physically on the planet and those Energy Beings who wish to help us. I have found it a real support to be able to share my concerns or point of view with my Guides. Their listening and responding has helped me make sense of so much in my life. So it should be simple to practice active listening. Yet it seems to be a skill we are lacking at the moment. I find that people are so busy wanting to talk about their opinions that they ignore what other people say. Or close the conversation down as soon as it moves away from what they have decided is true. Sometimes the conversation never even gets started.
There were several instances of this today. Not least in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. Listening seemed to be in short supply.
Residents had been raising concerns for many years. Now the people affected by the fire are being extremely vocal because they feel it shouldn’t have happened. They have decided to raise their voices. But will there be any active listening now? Or will the conversation be closed down by those who should be paying careful attention to what is being said. I haven’t heard anyone in any authority in the council concerned expressing apologies for failing to listen to residents in the past. Perhaps the conversation is being blocked by the fear of saying too much. Sometimes the lawyers step in to close down comment in case there is a legal case to answer. But that doesn’t help those who feel voiceless. It only confirms they are.
And what about when we talk to one another? Do I make my point at all costs. Even if it means you don’t get to make yours? I’m very used to this. Many people tell me their view of mediumship, especially the point about it not being real, then close the conversation when I want to reply. They stop listening. Or switch topic. They turn to what they want to talk about, I feel we really have to practice being able to listen to one another. I’ve enjoyed a great discussion in the group I run about spirituality. Each person payed attention to what others said. Questions flowed. Information was exchanged. Some things were agreed on. Others weren’t. There was a peaceful exchange of ideas. Listening in action.
I hope that we can improve our listening skills rapidly. All of us can do it really easily by letting the other person speak until they have finished. Then acknowledging what has been said. And sticking with the topic. Even if it’s a hard one. Or one one which we might have to agree to disagreed. Finally when we all agree that we have been heard we might agree to change the world.
Day 571 of my blogging challenge